The current RC8 R has been a firm favourite here at FB Towers, and the Austrian firm’s fiddling means this new bike should stand toe-to-toe with Ducati’s fully loaded new 1198 SP.
Using race input from the factory’s IDM German superbike team, the bike gets a revised crankshaft and flywheel, new dual-plug ignition and what KTM call an anti-hop clutch. Power peaks at 172bhp, up from 170bhp, with the bike developing 127Nm of torque (from 123Nm).
Chassis-wise, there’s a new eccentric adjuster for the rear suspension linkage which makes ride height adjustments much easier. The WP suspension gets a raft of set-up modifications, and there’s a new eccentric bracket in the rear wheel suspension linkage, allowing for quick ride height adjustment.
However, KTM move to Dunlop SportSmart tyres as its OE fitment for the RC8 R. The SportSmart is a great hoop, but it seems a strange move for their flagship superbike, given that the Dunlop GP Racer D211 would be a better fit. There’s no orgy of electronics, either, so it’s going to have to rely on pure ability to match the Ducati.
The new RC8 R will be available in White/Orange and Black/Orange, both with orange wheels and frame, with availability and prices yet to be confirmed.